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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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February 20, 2017

nasugbu : fortunate weather in fortune island


Fortune Island Dawn

A year or two ago photos of what looked like Acropolis ruins (the columns distinctly showed Greek ionic design) began hitting the social media. Greek ruins... in an island ... just off the coast of Nasugbu in Batangas ... surreal! Why haven't we heard of this place before?

The island is just a short boat ride from Nasugbu, around 45 minutes on a good day.  The waves can be very choppy during the Amihan season (prevailing winds from the east, usually starts around September and ends around May) and there were a couple of accidents already, outrigger boats getting overturned by huge waves. This was not a problem during the island's heydays as an ultra exclusive membership only resort; guest arrive in yachts.

Fortune Island Beach
eastern side
The island resort is owned by a prominent politician and currently a resort in Nasugbu leased and got the exclusive rights to bring tourists and campers there. Various typhoons battered the island's facilities into ruins and the final blow, said the caretaker, was Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan).

Accommodations
first class accommodation
What was left of the original structure offered a glimpse of what the resort may have looked like before. Fresh water was a problem, they could not find a source in the island. This probably added to the challenges of maintaining an island resort aside from our yearly dose of typhoons.

The beach area on the east side is not the best if we talk about Philippine islands: too rocky and sand not very fine. But most visitors do not care. I did not care. Greek columns - that was what most were after.

People make a bee line to the columns on the southern tip of the island armed with selfie sticks, tripods, and cameras. Model shoots with wannabe models (yes, with the complete set of entourage which include makeup artists), "prenups" sessions mixed in with the usual selfie crowd. There was a girl with her costumed dog and a professional photographer.

Sunset

I was there for the Greek columns as well, of course.  From the photos that I have seen I figured they would look great both at sunrise and sunset.

Faux Greek ruins
sunset glow
And they did looked great. While it was raining hard back in Manila, we had great weather in the island. We were fortunate in Fortune Island :).

Twilight colors
twilight
First day ended well. Selfie takers did not seem to favor the twilight. Once it got a bit dark (i.e. sun below the horizon), they started headed back to their camps. Time to start preparing dinner.  There was a brief moment to shoot the view without the crowded.

Headless
headless

Sunrise

Sunrise was not as great as I was hoping for; the color display was brief. There was a brief window where the crowd have not decided yet whether its worth heading up to the ruins again with their selfie sticks; it was still a bit dark anyway.

Dawn at Fortune Island
dawn breaks
And its not the peak season yet, so the island is relatively uncrowded. Not too many campers that weekend and most go there on a day trip.

Beach Front
uncrowded
With the sunrise and sunset photos I took, I guess I found (my version of ) fortune in Fortune Island :D.

Notes

  • With the island's scenic views and crowd-magnet Greek columns, its heading to an unfortunate path: more and more crowds and more and more garbage being left on the island. The resort managing the tours to the island must resolve this as soon as possible.
  • Good cellular coverage in the island. So you can post your selfie photos right away.
  • No potable water. Make sure to bring plenty. Currently no makeshift stores selling food and drinks.
  • No electricity.
  • Scary huge waves during amihan season. Expect to get really wet during the boat ride (to and from the island). Make sure to waterproof your stuff.


West Pier

There is a nice spot for cliff jumping on the western side near the columns. Water is generally calm. When the waves get too rough on the eastern side, boats drop off or pick up their passengers here. Downside (or upside if you look at it at a different angle) is that you have to jump into the water to get to your boat :)


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Lantaw
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